UN monitors at US polling locations causing controversy

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, just call them the leave us 'Alone Star State.' That is the message Texas is sending to a group of foreigners planning to monitor U.S. polling places on November 6.

The group is affiliated with the United Nations. It's called the Organization for Security and Cooperation. And it's been monitoring United States elections for the better part of a decade now, but this time around, liberal activists are coordinating with these guys to watch for any hint of voter suppression by conservatives.

Greg Abbott won't be having anything to do with it. He is the attorney general of the state of Texas.

It is a weird kind of a group and what looks like a coalition of forces doing this. What do they do? They just show up at polling sites? And what are they supposed to do?

GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, Neil, one of our concerns is, we don't know exactly what they're doing, and that is why we're trying to raise a red flag here, because there are laws in the state of Texas, and we expect this U.N.-related partner and their affiliates to abide by Texas laws.

And we sent them a message that if they fail to do so, they are subject to criminal prosecution. But, Neil, let me make this one point, and that is, you talked about how liberal activists have gotten associated with this group. They actually had a meeting with this group in April.

The liberal activists you need to know include Project Vote. Project Vote is an affiliate of ACORN, the now disgraced organization that was involved in voter fraud. And we need to make sure in Texas we don't have ACORN-style voter fraud taking place and we don't take any kind of shine to this European group thinking they can come in and monitor elections in the state of Texas.

CAVUTO: What I wonder about, though, attorney general is if they come in, are they watching from a distance? Are they checking who goes in, who goes out? Are they writing it down, videotaping it?

Because even in the most suspect countries, I think Hugo Chavez's case, when he invited the likes of Jimmy Carter to monitor the election there, it's always with the host country in this case inviting someone to check it out. And I'm sure you and the governor, Governor Perry, didn't do that. But that's what sounds so kind of weird here.

ABBOTT: Well, two points.

First, for your viewers to understand, this is something that is taking place across the country, not just in the state of Texas. Second, we don't know exactly how close they are expected to get...


CAVUTO: But the one tie-in -- sir, I guess just to clarify; the one tie-in here is states that are trying to crack down on illegal voters or those who shouldn't be voting, as if you're suppressing the vote.

ABBOTT: Exactly.

CAVUTO: But continue.

ABBOTT: They have called out the states that are trying to implement voter identification laws where the states are trying to protect the integrity of the ballot box in our states.

And that is offensive. For one, this international unit thinks that they can somehow supersede the United States Supreme Court decision saying that voter ID laws are perfectly constitutional. But more to your point, we don't know how close these so-called observers want to get.

If they're checking for a voter identification application, they will have to be closer than 100 feet to the polling place in order to discern what's going on. If they get closer to 100 feet to a polling place, they're committing a crime in the state of Texas that we intend to prosecute.

CAVUTO: How do you check voter – who's right to vote or who's not right to vote in Texas? Do you request a license? What do you request?

ABBOTT: Well, in the state of Texas, this last legislative session, we passed a voter identification law.

Because Texas is subject to the pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act, we had to go to trial in Washington, D.C., last month. A three-judge federal panel said that the Texas voter ID law does not go into effect this election. And we're in the process of appealing that to the U.S. Supreme Court so that Texas gets to benefit from the same law that Indiana and other states get to apply.


CAVUTO: But, in general, I just want to be clear. Do you have to show anything in Texas, as things stand now, to prove you are a legal resident and/or voter?

ABBOTT: You're supposed to show your voter identification card.

You have to have proof of citizenship to get one of those. If you don't have that, you do have to show a legitimate identification, such as a driver's license or other legitimate photo identification.

CAVUTO: OK. All right, we'll watch closely.

Attorney general, thank you very, very much.

ABBOTT: Thank you, Neil.

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